He ain’t heavy, he’s McCain’s brother

HE AIN’T HEAVY, HE’S MCCAIN’S BROTHER…. It’s not unprecedented for a presidential hopeful to have an embarrassing brother. Jimmy Carter had Billy. Bill Clinton had Roger. George Bush had, well, actually he was Jeb’s embarrassing brother.

And right about now, I suspect John McCain wishes he were an only child.

This report, from the ABC affiliate in D.C., features Joe McCain’s call to 911 to complain about traffic in Northern Virginia. Seriously.

Joe McCain called 911 on his cell phone, and when asked what the emergency was, said, “It’s not an emergency, but do you know why on one side at the damn drawbridge of 95, traffic is stopped for 15 minutes and yet traffic’s coming the other way?” When the operator asked if he were calling 911 to complain about traffic, McCain said, “F**k you” and hung up.

The operator called the number back, got Joe McCain’s voicemail, and left a message about abusing emergency resources.

So — get this — Joe McCain called back to complain that someone had given him the “riot act about the violation of police.”

The McCain campaign has decided not to respond to news outlets’ request for comment. I can’t imagine why.

Just as an aside, I can’t help but marvel at the embarrassing side-stories the McCain campaign has had to endure the last two days — Palin’s $150,000 wardrobe, the highly-paid makeup artist, the hoax in Pittsburgh, and now McCain’s brother’s insane 911 call. Not exactly the kind of news a struggling campaign wants to deal with 11 days from the election.

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Steve Benen

Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.